Happy Birthday Abe Lincoln (oh and also Chas Darwin)
Yes, Abe Lincoln has a birthday today. In a few week’s time, we’ll note the sorry anniversary of his removal from this sphere by means of a shabby piece of melodrama.
Abe’s most astonishing achievement, in many ways, was to define a version of “doable” idealism.
Like most politicians of his age, Abe was a trimmer and a compromiser. He was not the most anti-racist or the most anti-slavery elected politician of his age. (That was Charles Sumner.) The difference between Abe and the other mid-century politicos trying to thrash out a compromise was that Abe recognised that “middle ground” was a mobile concept. Unlike Buchanan and Pierce and Douglas etc. etc. – Abe could see that public opinion needs a gentle push – or rather a push of exactly the correct measure of force. He never wanted to get too far ahead of “public opinion”, but (in hockey parlance)…
View original post 514 more words